Today the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Tbilisi and enjoyed some beautiful Georgian wines along the Kura River. The sunshine brightened our day so we decided to review “Mzeo” by Mariam Mamadashvili — Georgia‘s Junior Eurovision 2016 singer. Did Mariam’s Disney ballad lift us up…or was it just a tad too sickly sweet? Read on to find out…
Georgia’s Junior Eurovision 2016 song
“Mzeo” reviews – Mariam Mamadashvili
Jason: Someone give this girl her own musical! Mariam shows just how it’s done on her epic entry “Mzeo”. Her vocals are impeccable and she has no problem hitting those massive notes with ease. She is proof that gimmicks and elaborate staging are not always necessary. On top of that, she is absolutely charming and I can see her being a big jury hit. Who says that Disney and Junior Eurovision shouldn’t mix? Not me!
Robyn: I adore this song! It seems like it shouldn’t work — it sounds like something out of a musical from the 1960s — but thanks to the substantial talent of Mariam, it works so well. Her voice is strong and clear and she can deliver those big, long notes and the emotion of the song like a pro. If Mariam can slay with just her voice (and a yellow frock) in the video, just think what she’ll do on the JESC stage.
William: In a contest now judged exclusively by a jury, Georgia is wise to step away from eccentricity. Instead they’ve chosen young Mariam, a singer trained in the Broadway method and ready to drop a show tune Annie style. And remember: Annie has made millions. This song stands out — even from the plethora of ballads it’s up against — with its musicality. It’s deliberately vintage, relying solely on strings and piano, as a way to say, “We don’t need no stinking electro beats.” With the right staging — think sweeping vistas and rising suns — this could surprise. And let there be no doubt: She’s got the pipes to win.
Rezo: The first time I listened to this in the studio, I was so proud and satisfied. I applauded the composer, Giga Kukhianidze, who was seated next to me. The song is a masterpiece sung by a 10-year-old girl. She says, “the sun belongs to everyone and it will bring happiness and love.” In my opinion, Mariam could make it to the top of the contest if she can sing well live and give a majestic performance.
Bernardo: Vintage other wordly realness. Georgia brings us musical theatre power via Mariam Mamadashvili, whose voice is quite incredible. Her vocal range is bananas and the orchestral arrangement is beyond amazing. It’s a bold move from Georgia in an experimental year for JESC — only having juries. It may be a top finisher or a big flop. It’s in the judges’ hands. Regardless of the outcome, Mariam should be proud.
Deban: Mariam conveys sunny emotion in “Mzeo”. The song doesn’t have an “immediacy”, but the orchestral production adds body and depth, which is more than enough to draw me in. This is a song you’ll grow to appreciate, especially on repeat listen. Mariam’s musical theatre training shines through.
Chris: I’m slightly worried that despite Mariam’s obvious talent, there’s a lot working against her in this entry. The opening takes far too long to get going. It will be up to Mariam to earn that attention back live during the show. Whilst she’s very strong vocally, I also feel that against some of the other ballads, the song itself doesn’t particularly stand out. Mariam might need a good draw if she’s to stand out to the juries.
Dayana: Everything — from Mariam’s dress to the ballad itself — reminds me of Disney, and, thereafter, childhood. I think that’s perfect for Junior Eurovision. She deserves special recognition for her strong and very confident vocals. The song may not sound unique, but it still has its own charms which will definitely fascinate the jury.
Josh: “Mzeo” sounds like it’s ripped right off the soundtrack of an old-Hollywood Disney film, and I live. Mariam’s vocal is so powerful and mature and treads the fine line of appealing to children and adults alike. If I had it my way, I would remove the awkward intro at the start of the song and just focus on Mariam the entire time. Otherwise, this is yet another solid entry from Georgia. Congratulations!
Zakaria: “Mzeo” is halfway between a Broadway composition and a Disney princess song, all delivered by a tiny Mariam, who slays with her killer vocals. I’m really mesmerised by what this young singer is capable of vocally but towards the end the song things become a tad boring and repetitive. This could either do extremely well with the juries or totally tank. I don’t know. I’m really confused about this one…
Our jury for 2016 consists of twenty-one jurors, but we only have room for ten reviews. The remaining eleven scores are listed below.
The highest and lowest scores are removed prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 5 and a high of 10.